A few short years ago, if you asked the average person to describe their favorite place, you would likely have heard about serene mountain retreats, lakeside cottages, sandy beaches, and other exotic locations. However, as the global pandemic has forced us to adjust our daily lives—and put off leisure travel—the new normal has had us updating our homes to include offices, classrooms, gyms, and more. Now that our homes serve so many purposes, it comes as no surprise that many of our favorite places exist within our own homes. Self-care has come to dominate the world of interior design.

Self-care refers to implementing practices that are specifically designed to support physical, mental, and emotional health. By making the time to truly take care of yourself, you can reduce stress, boost your mood, and improve your overall quality of life. It is important to note that self-care is not only about making healthy choices like staying active or eating nutritious foods. It also involves designing your space to promote your ability to take a much-needed break from daily stressors.

If you’re ready to incorporate self-care into your home design, read our tips below to transform your home into your personal sanctuary.

  1. Declutter for Peace of Mind

Whether you consider yourself a minimalist or love to surround yourself with beautiful objects, eliminating clutter is the first step to designing a space that encourages self-care. Research shows that living in a cluttered home increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, negatively impacts working memory, increases your chances of sickness and injury, encourages over-eating, and reduces your sleep quality. When your home is filled with things constantly competing for your attention, the objects that used to bring you joy can turn into distractions.

Starting with a thorough declutter can help you create a foundation for a relaxing home. Pay attention to the areas of your home that tend to accumulate clutter, such as your entry, kitchen, office, and laundry room. Excess items can be unpleasant to look at, and they also make your home less functional. For example, it’s much more challenging to cook in a hectic kitchen or stay focused in an overcrowded office.

Set up a drop spot near your front door to neatly store jackets, purses, shoes, and other accessories. Optimize your office for better concentration by figuring out what you use on a daily basis and storing the rest in a desk, file cabinet, or closet. Think about reorganizing your kitchen for better functionality and make a commitment to clearing the counters each night before bed. Then, check out your shelves—if you don’t love something enough to dust it each week, it needs to go. This may seem harsh, but making these decisions now can save work and bring serenity in the future.

  1. Dedicate Your Bedroom to Relaxing and Recharging

Now that you have the clutter under control, it’s time to decide which areas of your home you will use primarily to relax, recharge your batteries, and focus on yourself. For many people, the bedroom is a key spot. However, because it receives less foot traffic than other areas of your home, the design elements of this room are often overlooked or neglected entirely. Keep in mind that chronic sleep loss and poor sleep quality have widespread negative impacts on cognition, physical health, and mental well-being.

For that reason, your bedroom should be designed to gently lull you to a restorative sleep and keep you snoozing peacefully until you’ve rested a full eight hours. To achieve this, consider color—if your bedroom features bright colors or patterns, replace them with solid neutrals for a calming background that doesn’t distract you when it’s time to hit the sheets. Your walls, ceiling, floor, and bed linens take up the most visual space, so use white, ivory, greige, blush, or navy tones to rest your eyes and calm your mind. Texture is important, too. Tactile weaves like boucle, jute and woven wool help ground your space and create a cocooning effect.

Light, sound, and temperature are other major contributors to good sleep. If you have trouble blocking out streetlights or keeping neighborhood noise at bay, hang blackout curtains and consider purchasing a white noise machine. If you frequently wake up sweaty, start small. Turn the thermostat down to 65 degrees, and invest in a set of high-quality, breathable linen or hemp sheets. Placing a humidifier three feet from your bed can alleviate dryness and inflammation in your throat and sinuses.

  1. Showcase Your Personality

To maximize the rest of your home’s potential for self-care, consider changes you can make to reflect your personality and encourage your passions. If you relax by cooking or baking, store your supplies in labeled glass containers, keep your tools organized and located within easy reach, and display your favorite cookbooks on a shelf for inspiration. If you like unwinding at the end of the day with a long, hot bubble bath, add candles, luxury towels, recessed lighting, and a speaker to play relaxing tunes. Is family game night the highlight of your week? Make sure your family room has ample seating, plenty of light and is stocked with your favorites.

Finally, remember that nature and natural design elements lend themselves to many different design preferences and functionalities. Enjoy reading? Set up a comfortable chair with a cozy throw blanket, a side table to hold a drink, and invest in sheer curtains to keep your pages illuminated with natural light. Artists can similarly carve out a mini studio space that focuses on natural light, calm colors, and organic shapes. Nature lovers can select a spot that offers the best views of surrounding scenery and incorporate elements of nature with sculptural plants or fresh flowers. Whatever your preferred aesthetic or hobby of choice, a few natural adjustments can make a world of difference.

CRT Studio Can Help You Design the Ultimate Sanctuary

Wellness trends may come and go, but self-care is not about following the latest design fads—it’s about making a conscious shift in your lifestyle to promote happiness and well-being. By following the easy tips above, you can turn your home into a true sanctuary for year-round comfort and relaxation. To learn more, contact Rob Turner of CRT Studios by calling (407) 440-4446 or email rob@crtstudio.com.